Ben Wheatley Comes to US for 'Free Fire' with Olivia Wilde and More
You may not know the name Ben Wheatley yet, but the British filmmaker has gotten quite a bit of buzz previously for his films Sightseers and Kill List. His next film will be an adaptation of High Rise starring Tom Hiddleston, but after that, he's coming to the United States for his next film. THR has word that Wheatley is set to direct a 1970s crime drama called Free Fire, and he has quite the cast assembled to star in it. The project is on sale at the American Film Market and is touting Olivia Wilde (Rush), Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6), Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) and also Armie Hammer (The Social Network).
The film is based on an original idea by Wheatley, and that's what we like to hear:
"The idea for Free Fire came from my love of hard-boiled crime movies; from 'The Asphalt Jungle,' 'The Big Sleep,' 'The Killing' and 'The Big Combo' through 'The Driver,' 'Le Samourai' and 'The French Connection,' to the modern cycle of 'Goodfellas,' 'Casino,' 'Hard Boiled' and 'Reservoir Dogs.' 'Free Fire' will take you and stick you in the middle of the action. I want the film to have the stylish, no-nonsense feel that you get in Peckinpah's 'The Getaway.' It’s a modern ‘70s movie - muscular, tough and spare."
That's a whole lot of films to ramble off as influences, but they're all great frames of reference. So what's the film about? The trade says Wilde plays a woman in 1978 Boston who brokers a meeting between two men, Murphy and Michael Smiley (a regular in Wheatley's films), and a gang led by Hammer and Evans. More than likely that the deal won't go as easily as planned. It's a small budget film from Protagonist Pictures being made for around $10 million, so there's a chance we might see the film make the rounds at film festivals when it's finished. Sound good?